People want to be with positive, confident, happy people and if you're feeling badly about yourself, the person sitting across from you is going to know that immediately. The best way to get someone to like you is to like them first. When you feel that warmth and energy and you start off on a good foot, it's infectious. A: Put the word out to your friends that you are ready to date. Whether it's putting up the right kind of pictures or really spending time writing that profile, you can get great results with this if you have the right guidance.

Another mistake is that people have these on-again, off-again relationships and they let these toxic relationships orbit their lives for years and years and waste time on these, thinking, "Maybe I'll just keep dating him while I wait for something better to come along." Guess what? You can't commit to someone when one leg is somewhere else. Q: How do you keep people on track when they lose hope? I tell people to set a goal for themselves: "I'm going to go on 50 first dates, or 100 first dates." Then go out and have fun. And they have to be realistic about their expectations. You never know who might have a co-worker or a friend or a sister or a brother. Q: Do you think there's someone out there for everybody?

Q: You knew you wanted to switch careers in 1999, but didn't start your business until 2009.

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After I graduated with two degrees from the University of IL, Urbana in 1993—German and Finance—I went to work in mergers and acquisitions with Arthur Andersen Consulting.

My dad’s business had expanded quite a bit by then (he bought out his partners, was the sole owner, brought my mom onboard, and had grown into the second largest supplier of non-stick coatings in the USA), and he wanted to build his business abroad.

But even as she quickly climbed the corporate ladder, Gandhi had a feeling that her career would one day be taking a sharp turn in a different direction. Gandhi lives in Lincoln Park with her husband of almost 17 years, Andy Annacone, 42, and their two children, Max, 5 and Jaden, 9.

The following is an edited version of our conversation: Q: Tell me when you knew this would be your calling?

As founder of the Smart Dating Academy, her job is helping people find a soul mate."I had three engagements in January alone, and a baby was born last week from one of my clients," said Gandhi, 42.

"Every time I hear success stories of one of my clients, it's like an angel gets its wings."Born in Waukegan and raised in Glenview, Gandhi graduated from Glenbrook South High School in 1989 and then headed off to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to double major in banking/investments and German.

So I bought a pretty little book and every day I told myself I wanted to write three things that I'm grateful for.

The plan was to write three a day, but most of the time I write down eight to 10.

After she graduated in 1993, Gandhi worked in mergers and acquisitions for Arthur Andersen in Chicago for a year before joining her father's chemical and manufacturing company (CCC) as the vice president of housewares in 1994, where she divided her time between Chicago and Europe helping to expand the business.